Through the Bible – Day 137

Bible text(s)

Hezekiah asks Isaiah the prophet for advice

1As soon as Hezekiah heard the news, he tore off his clothes in sorrow and put on sackcloth. Then he went into the temple of the LORD. 2He told Prime Minister Eliakim, Assistant Prime Minister Shebna, and the senior priests to dress in sackcloth and tell the prophet Isaiah:

3These are difficult and disgraceful times. Our nation is like a woman too weak to give birth, when it's time for her baby to be born. 4Please pray for those of us who are left alive. The king of Assyria sent his army commander to insult the living God. Perhaps the LORD heard what he said and will do something, if you will pray.

5When these leaders went to Isaiah, 6he told them that the LORD had this message for Hezekiah:

I am the LORD. Don't worry about the insulting things that have been said about me by these messengers from the king of Assyria. 7I will upset him with rumours about what's happening in his own country. He will go back, and there I will make him die a violent death.

8Meanwhile, the commander of the Assyrian forces heard that his king had left the town of Lachish and was now attacking Libnah. So he went there.

9About this same time the king of Assyria learnt that King Tirhakah of Ethiopia was on his way to attack him. Then the king of Assyria sent some messengers with this note for Hezekiah:

10Don't trust your God or be fooled by his promise to defend Jerusalem against me. 11You have heard how we Assyrian kings have completely wiped out other nations. What makes you feel so safe? 12The Assyrian kings before me destroyed the towns of Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and everyone from Eden who lived in Telassar. What good did their gods do them? 13The kings of Hamath, Arpad, Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah have all disappeared.

Hezekiah prays

14After Hezekiah had read the note from the king of Assyria, he took it to the temple and spread it out for the LORD to see. 15He prayed:

LORD God of Israel, your throne is above the winged creatures. You created the heavens and the earth, and you alone rule the kingdoms of this world. 16But just look how Sennacherib has insulted you, the living God.

17It is true, our LORD, that Assyrian kings have turned nations into deserts. 18They destroyed the idols of wood and stone that the people of those nations had made and worshipped. 19But you are our LORD and our God! We ask you to keep us safe from the Assyrian king. Then everyone in every kingdom on earth will know that you are the only God.

The LORD's answer to Hezekiah

20Isaiah went to Hezekiah and told him that the LORD God of Israel had said:

Hezekiah, I heard your prayer about King Sennacherib of Assyria. 21Now this is what I say to that king:

The people of Jerusalem

hate and make fun of you;

they laugh

behind your back.

22Sennacherib, you cursed,

shouted, and sneered at me,

the holy God of Israel.

23You let your officials

insult me, the Lord.

And here is what you

have said about yourself,

“I led my chariots

to the highest heights

of Lebanon's mountains.

I went deep into its forest,

cutting down the best cedar

and cypress trees.

24I dried up every stream

in the land of Egypt,

and I drank water

from wells I had dug.”

25Sennacherib, now listen

to me, the Lord.

I planned all this long ago.

And you don't even realize

that I alone am the one

who decided that you

would do these things.

I let you make ruins

of fortified cities.

26Their people became weak,

terribly confused.

They were like wild flowers

or tender young grass

growing on a flat roof,

scorched before it matures.

27I know-all about you,

even how fiercely angry

you are with me.

28I have seen your pride

and the tremendous hatred

you have for me.

Now I will put a hook

in your nose,

a bit in your mouth,

then I will send you back

to where you came from.

29Hezekiah, I will tell you what's going to happen. This year you will eat crops that grow on their own, and the next year you will eat whatever springs up where those crops grew. But the third year you will plant grain and vineyards, and you will eat what you harvest. 30Those who survive in Judah will be like a vine that puts down deep roots and bears fruit. 31I, the LORD All-Powerful, will see to it that some who live in Jerusalem will survive.

32I promise that the king of Assyria won't get into Jerusalem, or shoot an arrow into the city, or even surround it and prepare to attack. 33As surely as I am the LORD, he will return by the way he came and will never enter Jerusalem. 34I will protect it for myself and for my servant David.

The death of King Sennacherib

35That same night the LORD sent an angel to the camp of the Assyrians, and he killed one hundred and eighty-five thousand of them. And so the next morning, the camp was full of dead bodies. 36After this King Sennacherib went back to Assyria and lived in the city of Nineveh. 37One day he was worshipping in the temple of his god Nisroch, when his sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, killed him with their swords. They escaped to the land of Ararat, and his son Esarhaddon became king.

Hezekiah gets sick and almost dies

1About this time, Hezekiah got sick and was almost dead. Isaiah the prophet went in and told him, “The LORD says you won't ever get well. You are going to die, so you had better start doing what needs to be done.”

2Hezekiah turned towards the wall and prayed, 3“Don't forget that I have been faithful to you, LORD. I have obeyed you with all my heart, and I do whatever you say is right.” After this, he cried hard.

4Before Isaiah got to the middle court of the palace, 5the LORD sent him back to Hezekiah with this message:

Hezekiah, you are the ruler of my people, and I am the LORD God, who was worshipped by your ancestor David. I heard you pray, and I saw you cry. I will heal you, so that three days from now you will be able to worship in my temple. 6I will let you live fifteen years more, while I protect you and your city from the king of Assyria. I will defend this city as an honour to me and to my servant David.

7Then Isaiah said to the king's servants, “Bring some mashed figs and place them on the king's open sore. He will then get well.”

8Hezekiah asked Isaiah, “Can you prove that the LORD will heal me, so that I can worship in his temple in three days?”

9Isaiah replied, “The LORD will prove to you that he will keep his promise. Will the shadow made by the setting sun on the stairway go forward ten steps or back ten steps?”

10“It's normal for the sun to go forward,” Hezekiah answered. “But how can it go back?”

11Isaiah prayed, and the LORD made the shadow go back ten steps on the stairway built for King Ahaz.

The LORD is still with Hezekiah

12Merodach Baladan, the son of Baladan, was now king of Babylonia. And when he learnt that Hezekiah had been sick, he sent messengers with letters and a gift for him. 13Hezekiah welcomed the messengers and showed them all the silver, the gold, the spices, and the fine oils that were in his storehouse. He even showed them where he kept his weapons. Nothing in his palace or in his entire kingdom was kept hidden from them.

14Isaiah asked Hezekiah, “Where did these men come from? What did they want?”

“They came all the way from Babylonia,” Hezekiah answered.

15“What did you show them?” Isaiah asked.

Hezekiah answered, “I showed them everything in my kingdom.”

16Then Isaiah told Hezekiah:

I have a message for you from the LORD. 17One day everything you and your ancestors have stored up will be taken to Babylonia. The LORD has promised that nothing will be left. 18Some of your own sons will be taken to Babylonia, where they will be disgraced and made to serve in the king's palace.

19Hezekiah thought, “At least our nation will be at peace for a while.” So he told Isaiah, “The message you brought me from the LORD is good.”

Hezekiah dies

20Everything else Hezekiah did while he was king, including how he made the upper pool and tunnel to bring water into Jerusalem, is written in The History of the Kings of Judah. 21Hezekiah died, and his son Manasseh became king.

2 Kings 19:1-20:21CEVOpen in Bible reader

Jesus heals an official's son

43-44Jesus had said, “Prophets are honoured everywhere, except in their own country.” Then two days later he left 45and went to Galilee. The people there welcomed him, because they had gone to the festival in Jerusalem and had seen everything he had done.

46While Jesus was in Galilee, he returned to the village of Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was an official in Capernaum whose son was sick. 47And when the man heard that Jesus had come from Judea, he went and begged him to keep his son from dying.

48Jesus told the official, “You won't have faith unless you see miracles and wonders!”

49The man replied, “Lord, please come before my son dies!”

50Jesus then said, “Your son will live. Go on home to him.” The man believed Jesus and set off to return home.

51Some of the official's servants met him along the road and told him, “Your son is better!” 52He asked them when the boy got better, and they answered, “The fever left him yesterday at one o'clock.”

53The boy's father realized that at one o'clock the day before, Jesus had told him, “Your son will live!” So the man and everyone in his family put their faith in Jesus.

54This was the second miracle that Jesus performed after he left Judea and went to Galilee.

Jesus heals a sick man

1Later, Jesus went to Jerusalem for another Jewish festival. 2In the city near the sheep gate was a pool with five porches, and its name in Hebrew was Bethzatha.

3-4Many sick, blind, lame, and crippled people were lying close to the pool.

5Beside the pool was a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw the man and realized that he had been crippled for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to be healed?”

7The man answered, “Lord, I don't have anyone to put me in the pool when the water is stirred up. I try to get in, but someone else always gets there first.”

8Jesus told him, “Pick up your mat and walk!” 9At once the man was healed. He picked up his mat and started walking around. The day on which this happened was a Sabbath.

10When the Jewish leaders saw the man carrying his mat, they said to him, “This is the Sabbath! No one is allowed to carry a mat on the Sabbath.”

11But he replied, “The man who healed me told me to pick up my mat and walk.”

12They asked him, “Who is this man that told you to pick up your mat and walk?” 13But he did not know who Jesus was, and Jesus had left because of the crowd.

14Later, Jesus met the man in the temple and told him, “You are now well. But don't sin any more or something worse might happen to you.” 15The man left and told the leaders that Jesus was the one who had healed him. 16They started making a lot of trouble for Jesus because he did things like this on the Sabbath.

17But Jesus said, “My Father has never stopped working, and that is why I keep on working.” 18Now the leaders wanted to kill Jesus for two reasons. First, he had broken the law of the Sabbath. But even worse, he had said that God was his Father, which made him equal with God.

John 4:43-5:18CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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